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    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I thought I’d post this pic for several reasons:

      1) Because yesterday I got out hunting with a friend, and despite our different approaches (as indicated by the pic above), we had a great time, and came very close to sealing the deal on a nice bull.

      2) On the drive up to the trailhead, the owner of the high-tech bow told me that he is looking forward this winter to building his own stickbow, along with primitive arrows and knapped heads.

      3) As a good reminder to keep our ‘trad’ biases in check, and not rush to judgment based on outward appearances. That guy in several thousand dollars worth of hunting gear and a compound bow might just be the guy described above – with a dream of “going trad” some day, if the trad people he meets are simply cool and welcoming and not turning their noses up at him.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      I still have my compound device in my storage space buried between skis and keyboards. I tried to sell it on ebay but never had any luck, so I kept it. No big deal to me!

      All my hunting buddies in the Hudson Valley are compound shooters. I’m the only trad guy. I got one of them to try a recurve one season. He did the best he could, but went back to his old Hoyt from the 80’s! :D:D

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I met a bunch of real good guys in the mtns this weekend and they all had training wheels or crossbows.

      They were all impressed with my gear and several guys shot my bow.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Smithy,

      good post. It’s all too easy to curse at a glance, but that’s just bigotry. The spirit of the hunt and the best intentions of our prey is what matters the most. Thanks for starting this one. best, dwc

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Just in conversation with a good friend this evening about such things on a higher plane.

      Our Maker, depending on one’s belief, expects us to accept and love others. Not too my world philosophies like that.

      Elitism is another way to put down others and try to elevate ourselves. Likely due to low self esteem or some other shortcoming within our own being.

      Well, now, being “retired” where the hell did all that come from? I’m not working in those environs anymore:shock::lol:

      Good post, Bruce. Our real goal might should be to spend time in the outdoors with like-minded people who love nature and work to respect and preserve that which we adore, not to focus on the implement they take afield, eh?!:roll:

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Nice bit of perspective Bruce. It is the man that carries the tool that determines the value of the pair, not the other way around.

      For instance I shoot a longbow but have been called a jerk on numerous occasions 😉

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Inside so many compounders is a traditionalist just waiting to break out.:D Most of us were there at one point….and we eventually took the leap. Maybe they will too.

      But yes, it’s the intent and character of the person that counts, not just the weapon they carry.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      We are a group of or a family of archers and hunters who choose to use traditional equipment as our choice of weapon.

      This places us not on a pedestal higher than nor lower than any other group of people using a different choice of weapons. It merely is a fact that traditional equipment is our choice at the moment.

      “But yes, it’s the intent and character of the person that counts, not just the weapon they carry.”

      This is the the point to be made to my thinking.

      My choice of a longbow as a hunting tool does not restrict me to that weapon only nor does it require me to change my standing if I choose to use other weapons. If it does so in the eyes of others then this is what this thread is about.

      Like the thought quoted above, it is myself that is the tool, the weapon and it is I that makes it stand proud and just.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Well said you all.

      Bruce the only ? I have is where do you hold that thing:D

      Mike

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Hey Mike, I can tell you a not, :D, not by the string. I was carrying one by the string many, many years ago and like all timely events in the world that happen on time, it was time for a cable to break. All I can say is that for awhile, nearly forever perhaps, I had a living mess of s**t in my hands. 😀

      No more for moi!

      Ralph

    • skinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      My hunting buddy shoots wheels…I shoot a recurve…He tries to get me to “upgrade” to a compound and I trie to convince him to use a heavier arrow and ditch the bic razor broadheads.Despite our differences we hunt well together!

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      The other side of the coin, one of the best trad/primitive archers I have ever met makes bows, knaps flint, tans hides all the things that you would expect from a dedicated trad/primitive archer, hunts compound. We discussed this at length he said ‘I get to hunt rarely and don’t want to leave anything to chance’, kind of sad but I accept his reasoning.

      Mark.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Bruce, what weight arrows is your compound buddy shooting, and what kind of broadheads. There are a lot more reasons to be concerned about the modern compound culture than bias and lack of an open mind, etc. The entire culture is predicated on taking longer and longer shots, which demands light arrows that, esp. at the terminal end of a long shot, lack the momentum to get the job done, thus lead to an elevated level of wounding loss. You want to shoot a compound, fine by me so long as you hold your shots to 40 yards under ideal conditions and use a lethal arrow. There are also problems with archery seasons being cut back due to the inflated number of “bow” hunters afield thanks to the compound crutch. These problems are real, and directly associated with the mechanical arrow launching device technology. To view, as this thread is so far, as merely a “matter of personal” choice misses the point. OF COURSE there are good people using compound, I’ve hunted with a few myself. OF COURSE there are exceptions who hold their shot distances to sane limits and use lethal arrows … they are a tiny minority. It’s the compound culture that’s the problem, and that is driving by industry, media, and gullible people who just accept what the see in the magazines. So far a biblical implications, I think the Boss would object to sloppy work and ignorance and laziness leading to a sinful wounding rate, don’t you?

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Smithhammer wrote:

      I thought I’d post this pic for several reasons:

      1) Because yesterday I got out hunting with a friend, and despite our different approaches (as indicated by the pic above), we had a great time, and came very close to sealing the deal on a nice bull.

      2) On the drive up to the trailhead, the owner of the high-tech bow told me that he is looking forward this winter to building his own stickbow, along with primitive arrows and knapped heads.

      3) As a good reminder to keep our ‘trad’ biases in check, and not rush to judgment based on outward appearances. That guy in several thousand dollars worth of hunting gear and a compound bow might just be the guy described above – with a dream of “going trad” some day, if the trad people he meets are simply cool and welcoming and not turning their noses noses up at him.

      Excellent, excellent post! Very well said!

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Good points Dave.

      I just got finished building arrows for a fellow bow hunter that uses a compound. He had shot 3 deer last year within 25 yards and was unable to recover them because of poor arrow penetration. He asked me my thoughts. I provided him with Ashby’s studies and told him to read them during the winter. He was using 100 grain Rage broad heads with aluminum inserts. Fast shooting but bad with penetration. I got him up to a 50 grain brass insert with 225 grain grizzly broad heads. For the whitetail we hunt I think his arrows will perform much better. He is the only one out of a large number of bow hunters I know willing to even try it. If it hadn’t been for those lost deer last year he still wouldn’t have considered changing his arrows. But for me I use the Ashby studies to produce the fastest and most painless death I can. My friend’s motivation is to not loose a trophy. I am in a minority in the high regard and respect I show all animals and most hunters I know look at them as just something to kill.

      I agree Smith Hammer that the weapon doesn’t determine the hunter’s heart that uses it. My Dad is a bird hunter and rifle hunter. But he shows a high regard and respect for all animals especially the ones he hunts and kills. I guess when it comes down to it judging a hunter on his actions and not his weapon is the best way interact with other hunters. But where I live the bow hunters I know don’t care about anything but killing and doing it as fast as possible. Maybe I need to move out west!!!

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Good points Bruce and, to a certain extent, Dave as well. Although the devices nearly make me nauseous now, I started my own bowhunting career shooting a compound.

      Dave makes an excellent point about many archery seasons and hunting opportunities being curtailed as a direct result of increased efficiency of archery tackle. I whole heartedly agree with that and it makes my fighting mad that we can’t really do anything about it. But… That’s besides the point here. The argument about long shots and flimsy tackle may have some merit but that can also be true for trad shooters as well. To illustrate, I once know a fellow that made his own bows and knapped his own heads that flat out told me that you only needed an inch of penetration to kill a deer and that you could do it with a field tip. With that said, I think that the extremes, both high tech and low, are just that – the extremes; tails of the bell curve.

      I’m drawn to Bruce’s points because I can relate, being a convert myself. When I first started bowhunting, compound archery was all I was exposed to and so that’s where I naturally went. And therein lays the problem. It’s still that way, albeit to a lesser extent due to info on the internet and sites like this. If a guy wants to start bowhunting though, odds are, the only hands on help he’ll find is some guy at the pro shop that wants to sell him the latest compound and associated gadgets. If, during my compound days, I’d run across some highbrow elitist longbow shooter that looked down on me for what I was shooting, I would have still found my way to traditional archery. It’s who I am. But I can see how it might hinder someone who’s more prone to be offended the I am.

      We all need to do what Bruce has done. Be there to show the way and give a helping hand to anyone who has what it takes – in the way of interest, desire, fortitude, and stubbornness – to hunt with traditional gear. But also do as Dave does, in the way of questioning the overall impact that the more, faster, easier, culture of modern hunting is having on us all. The repercussions go well beyond shortened seasons and increased competition in the woods. It causes a perception issue with the vast majority of non-hunters that will ultimately determine the fate of hunting. But all of that is much bigger than the individual that gets caught up in the industry hype and available guidance and decides on a compound vs a longbow. It’s the individual that can change and culture is a product of individuals. Keep that in mind.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      The problem with sweeping generalizations, no matter that they may contain some validity, is that they aren’t always accurate in describing individuals. And personally, I prefer to treat people as individuals, rather than lump entire groups together and make a host of assumptions about their individual motives, and their standards, based on circumstantial evidence – such as assuming that anyone with a compound bow in their hand must be “sloppy” and “ignorant.”

      I don’t disagree with some of your points Dave (stereotypes though they may be), but I would say it is more than a “tiny minority” of compound hunters who hunt responsibly. I actually personally know quite a few. And no, I don’t think I’m missing the point, I think you are, so let me spell it out:

      If we spend all our time judging and turning our nose up at everyone who isn’t already doing things the same way that we’ve chosen to, we risk turning off a lot of hunters who may someday take up trad hunting on their own – maybe they just aren’t there yet. That was the entire point of my post, nothing more.

      You can lump all compound hunters together, and paint them all with one brush if you want to (which you are doing, despite token acknowledgement that, “OF COURSE there are exceptions”), but at the end of the day, my hunting companion that morning has killed a lot more elk than I have, and has never had a wounded and unrecovered animal. Nor have I ever heard him talk about taking excessive long shots. So far be it for me to proselytize. I opted instead to encourage his stated desire to build his own longbow this winter. I have a feeling my approach will go a lot farther with him than a soapbox lecture.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Hear, hear, Bruce!!! (loud clapping)

      I also tend to cringe at blatant generalities and broad brush statements, although, having that said, it’s surely easy to do because we all have perspectives and passions about things we hold dear…

      I will say this in support of the comments for treating others as “individuals”.

      Ok…so almost ALL the guys I know who still hunt with compounds, do so for one major reason. They lack confidence that they can hunt ETHICALLY and RESPONSIBLY with a stick bow. PERIOD!

      Notice I didn’t say all…just MOST. They see me pull out my stick and shake their heads… NONE of these guys shoot super over draws with short arrows or expanding heads. We have had serious long discussions about arrow and broad head lethality, Doc’s research, and some have even shifted to cut on impact heads… but none ever use/used the Expandable heads.

      They do their due diligence. They understand the limits of their gear and work within those limits. They choose NOT to use traditional gear because they fear their abilities are not sufficient to meet their ethical requirements for humane kills.

      Could they learn? sure! But they readily admit that while they love archery, they do NOT have a lot of time away from family to do the intense practice we take fore-granted, so they stick with what gives them confidence.

      I’ll hunt with people like that any day!

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      It’s not the wheels on your bow that make me your not friend, it’s the wheels spinning between your ears that make that call.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      R2 wrote: It’s not the wheels on your bow that make me your not friend, it’s the wheels spinning between your ears that make that call.

      Peeps got wheels in their heads??

      Say it ain’t so, Ralph!

      I used to think I had a memory like a steel trap, but it’s rusted either shut or open… but wheels”…

      Must be why I can blow grease outa my nose sometimes, huh? And when I study on complex issues too hard, I smell smoke?

      :shock:8):roll:

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Hey, a compounded mind

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I will say this. When I started bowhunting, I didn’t even consider the idea of going trad. It wasn’t common or really known. I only started bowhunting to extend my season. Then I fell in love with it. I was taught to shoot such and such arrows and such and such heads. That’s the way it is in the community. It’s only by the grace of fate that my buddy Tailfeather picked up a longbow and then it seemed possible to me. The next year I had one as well and I killed just as much or more than I did when I was a wheelie guy.

      Now I’m a recurve hunter shooting 600 grain arrows. If not for a long list of life experiences, I’d still be shooting a compound arrow launcher. A lot of these guys just need a little kick in the right direction and they are being LIED TO by the “bowhunting media”.

      If I ever had to go back to a wheelie bow, I would still be shooting 300 grains up front with a tree shark on the end of it. Just something I’ve learned.

    • Carl Brickey
      Member
      Post count: 105

      I’ll have to concur with the hunting media blasting everyone with feet per second fever. I had a discussion with the local pro shop owner a couple of months ago trying to explain the reasoning for heavy arrows and FOC, and he just said something along the lines of, “it’s a trend”.

      I by no means have an elitist attitude about what equipment I or the rest of the world uses, as long as it is used responsibly and within reasonable distance. (I do not agree with cross guns being lumped into primitive seasons though.) Unfortunately, almost all mainstream publication of information should be taken with a grain of salt and read into, but the MAJORITY of folks neglect to do such and continue to eat the Big Macs they are fed.

      My 2 cents.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Here in Michigan, crossbows are taking over. According to a friend who works in a relatively large and local archery shop, from July on, for every compound sold, there are ten crossbows sold. You can see it when you go to any archery shop/department. They’re eating up more and more of the archery section. It’s very disheartening. I despise the fact that crossbows are allowed in archery season, and I’m sure it’s going to eventually result in a shortening of archery season. As a result, seeing someone with a compound comes as a relief. 😥

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I see a lot of interest in crossbows here in PA. A good and valid point on this is that when the seasons and laws for archery were put in place, recurves were the modern gear. Compounds were not invented. Crossbows with scopes are an end run around the season, a way to legally get out there and still have an advantage. I don’t see a problem with the individual as long as they are hunting within the limits of their gear and experience, as I must do. I do have to see the seasons limited due to higher kill rates due to technical advantages. That would have to be addressed in very specific term. One thing to be sure, none of this is going away. dc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thanks for all the responses, folks.

      I see crossbows as a whole different can of worms, and not really what the intent of this thread was about (nor do I agree at all with allowing them during bow season). It also wasn’t intended to be about commenting on the hunting industry/media in general, which is a much broader and thornier topic.

      A different example of my point – I have another friend who started out as a compound hunter. He used to think trad bows weren’t useful hunting weapons, and that all they were good for was walking around in the woods and “playing hide and seek with animals.” He also scoffed when I tried to explain the ideas behind EFOC arrows, and their benefits. He sold his compound last winter, and now owns several trad bows, and shoots EFOC arrows with single-bevel heads. In the end, it just took him some time to wrap his brain around it and make the shift. He’d be the first to admit that he “get’s it” now, and he’s become a devoted trad fanatic.

      Again, I didn’t start this thread to condemn the hunting industry (which has been done in abundance in many other threads, here and elsewhere), but just as a reminder that for many of us, it’s been a process of evolution that has led us to our current choices, and that others may be at different points along their evolutionary path. It doesn’t automatically mean that they are “bad” people or “slob hunters.” I think we’ll get farther with making trad bowhunting appealing, and winning more converts, by being positive ambassadors than by appearing to be holier-than-thou, and disdainful of anyone with a different approach. I know that personally, I’d rather hang out with people who seem to be having fun, than people who seem to be bitter and self-righteous, and this is as much a reminder to myself as anyone else.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      My only point was that, with the increased insurgency of the crossbow, my negative biases and assumptions towards compounds have diminished.

      Well that, and I’m in a posting frenzy, due to a prolonged departure from the site. 😆

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Patrick wrote: …and I’m in a posting frenzy, due to a prolonged departure from the site. 😆

      It’s good to have you back, Patrick.

    • Nate Bailey
      Post count: 101

      I choose to hunt with who I hunt with based on their ethics. I over heard a fellow at work bragging about three people in there party hitting three elk in the same day, yet only finding one of the elk. I confronted him and asked him what the shots were like and he told me the shoot at 60 yards on the average, but practice to 100 yards. I told him there is no bow on earth that should be shot at an animal at 100 yards. He informed me that they do it all the time on TV:( I asked him if he though the two unrecovered elk died? he said he thought so:x I think fish and game ought to put weight requirements on the arrows, thats the only way we can bring the bow back to a close range tool. if you shoot a 3 blade you have to shoot a heaver arrow ect. heavy arrow fall faster- forcing people to have to limit their shots. I sure know the person above wouldn’t be able to avreage 60 yard shots. If people are using compounds to help them make clean kills, within normal bow range, more power to them, but if they are using them to extend their range then we, as bowhunters have to impose a set of ethics for the animals sake.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Smithhammer wrote: It’s good to have you back, Patrick.

      Awww, shucks…thanks! It’s great to be back.

      Nate Bailey wrote: If people are using compounds to help them make clean kills, within normal bow range, more power to them, but if they are using them to extend their range then we, as bowhunters have to impose a set of ethics for the animals sake.

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      I received a yearbook catalog from a major outdoor company awhile back.

      2 pages of trad related equipment, 6 pages of compound bow related equipment and 13 pages of crossbow related equipment.

      That’s saying something. :cry::cry:

    • William Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Thanks Smithy,

      I’ve been talking with a guy about hunting some public land near his home and I know he is a compound shooter. He invited me to come over and go with him, even offering the use of stands he has set up. I figured he probably did not remember that I had told him before that I was all Trad so I reminded him of that and it did not seem to bother him and I don’t mind him using a c-bow although I do worry a bit over the things that Dave said especially when getting to know someone new. But interestingly, he seemed have more concern over the fact that I am a ground hunter when I asked if he minded if I stayed on the ground. He responded with a very somber: “you can’t kill deer with a bow from the ground can you?” I told him I had and that it is a bit trickier than being in a tree stand but it can be done and at close range. Any way I’m not looking to convert him just need a place to hunt but like Smithy said, how I behave will have an impact on whether he has a good impression of me or not. If we show we have manners then people with manners will notice. The rest, you can’t save them anyway.

    • jmsmithy
      Member
      Post count: 300

      Smithhammer wrote: The problem with sweeping generalizations, no matter that they may contain some validity, is that they aren’t always accurate in describing individuals. And personally, I prefer to treat people as individuals, rather than lump entire groups together and make a host of assumptions about their individual motives, and their standards, based on circumstantial evidence – such as assuming that anyone with a compound bow in their hand must be “sloppy” and “ignorant.”

      I don’t disagree with some of your points Dave (stereotypes though they may be), but I would say it is more than a “tiny minority” of compound hunters who hunt responsibly. I actually personally know quite a few. And no, I don’t think I’m missing the point, I think you are, so let me spell it out:

      If we spend all our time judging and turning our nose up at everyone who isn’t already doing things the same way that we’ve chosen to, we risk turning off a lot of hunters who may someday take up trad hunting on their own – maybe they just aren’t there yet. That was the entire point of my post, nothing more.

      You can lump all compound hunters together, and paint them all with one brush if you want to (which you are doing, despite token acknowledgement that, “OF COURSE there are exceptions”), but at the end of the day, my hunting companion that morning has killed a lot more elk than I have, and has never had a wounded and unrecovered animal. Nor have I ever heard him talk about taking excessive long shots. So far be it for me to proselytize. I opted instead to encourage his stated desire to build his own longbow this winter. I have a feeling my approach will go a lot farther with him than a soapbox lecture.

      Bruce I couldn’t agree with you more.

      I, like many, started with a compound on my bow hunting/archery career. Unlike most, I owned an archery shop in the early 90s and yes, catered to compounds, it was all about speed and trajectory. I still enjoy shooting my compounds on occasion, as well as my crossbows, rifles, shotguns, handguns, slingshots etc etc. I switched to Traditional archery 3-4 years ago as an increase challenge, to learn more, and, perhaps most importantly I believed the simplicity, lack of gadgets etc, would allow me to have an even closure spiritual connection to that world and those creatures. It has made a profound change in my outdoor life. It did not, however, change my ethics one iota. I’ve had them since day one. I was brought up to love and nurture our wild places and all the inhabitants in it. I’ve been blessed to be able to go beyond my teacher (Dad) in the amount of time and resources I freely give to organizations I believe stand for those values. I live them daily and preach them routinely. However I never have, nor ever will, look down on or somehow make a fellow hunter feel somewhat less than I because he/she not “going Trad”. I’ve had the pleasure of hunting with all types of weapons and with all types of hunters and believe it’s the ethos of hunter, not the type of weapon, that determines what type of outdoorsman he/she is.

      Where I live ( Northern NJ ) we as hunters need to police our ranks, put our best foot forward and put things in a positive light as the antis and the apathetic are very boisterous here, very well funded and very well connected. I do what I can, where/whenever I can to be a good steward of our land/resources and an even better ambassador of our sport. I CHOOSE to use traditional gear, as others choose their gear of choice. The only thing that truly makes me take pause is when things get preachy. I don’t believe it helps any of us or our sport. Now I can’t stomach the majority of the televised drivel on the various hunt/fish channels. Quite frankly I think they do a better job for PETA and HSUS and thank God those two disasters haven’t caught on and begun using those shows against us (at least I’m not aware of it happening – yet). That being said however, some of the vitriol I’ve heard of late in various areas online, in print and in my two states (NJ and Norern NY) regarding the villainous cross”guns” / compound bows is, IMHO, ridiculous and more damaging than not. I know and currently hunt with folks who choose to use BOTH of the aforementioned legal weapons. All of whom are ethical and honorable in their approach to hunting, their mindsets, and, most importantly, their actions. They study game physiology, practice with their weapons of choice regularly throughout the year, limit shot distances to well within their own comfort levels and always err on the side of wildlife. Two of which are my own son and my Dad. I get dismayed at the broad brush stroke that all cross/compound bow shooters are the “problem”. Quite frankly in my 35 years afield I’ve seen bad behavior by ALL types of hunters. Fortunately, I can honestly say that in my experience at least, the good, ethical ones have FAR outweighed the blood thirsty, distance pushing speed freaks. I know they’re out there, and there are way too many of them, but to paint those “that don’t look, talk, act” like us is just plain wrong.

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